In case you missed my article this weekend on the Devan Dubnyk situation, here is the latest with lots of quotes from Wild GM Chuck Fletcher.
Part of the story is the Niklas Backstrom situation and how as of right now the Wild can't buy him out because of offseason elbow surgery. Here is that original story from a few weeks ago.
Regardless if the Wild finds a way to buy him out (maybe he finds a new team and consents to a buyout in order to become a free agent and play), there is NO cap relief because he was signed over the age of 35.
I mentioned on one of the previous blogs about how I was getting emails and tweets and apparently ripped on reddit and message boards that this information was incorrect. I mentioned how if it was incorrect, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who wrote the collective bargaining agreement from the league's perspective, and GM Chuck Fletcher think otherwise and have confirmed no cap relief for 35+ contracted players multiple times to me.
I don't know where it was misconstrued, but part of the confusion is that when capgeek existed, Matthew Wuest wrote he subsequently confirmed with the league that 35yo contracted players bought out have cap benefits just like any other buyout.
Adding to the confusion, it was reported two summers ago that Filip Kuba, despite being signed to an over 35 contract by Florida, had a regular buyout of the final year of his contract WITH cap benefit. Here is the nhl.com story at the time.
I have confirmed that report was incorrect and there indeed was NO cap benefit (full $4 million cap hit in 2013-14 and no cap hit in 2014-15) for Florida on Kuba.
--There is no cap relief for a 35+ contract (35 by June 30 before his contract starts)
-- This doesn't preclude teams from buying out a 35+ contracted player if healthy. The buyout in terms of cash is the same as any other buyout (two-thirds of the remaining amount spread over twice the length).
-- Essentially, any 35+ contract will carry the full cap hit until the end of the deal- regardless of whether they are playing or bought out or retire.
-- So, if Niklas Backstrom were to be bought out of the final year of a contract with a $3.417 million cap hit (AAV) and $4 million salary, in 2015-16, the Wild would be charged a $3.417 million cap hit and pay him $1.333 million in cash. In 2016-17, the Wild would be charged with no cap hit and pay him $1.333 million in cash.
Again, the purpose of buying him out would be to save $1.33 million AND to clear a roster spot so the Wild doesn't devote three spots on its 23-man roster to goalies to start next season. If Backstrom's on the roster, the Wild would have to carry one less forward or defenseman and it just inhibits roster flexibility.
Again, Backstrom has a NO-MOVE clause, so he cannot be assigned to Iowa. Fletcher is hoping to work with Backstrom's agent this summer or in this next week to figure out a solution here. The later it gets in the summer, the fewer options Fletcher has.
-- Kuba was bought out of the final year of a two-year deal. His AAV was $4 million. Salary was $4.2 million. So Kuba's buyout included a full cap charge in Year 1 of $4 million and no cap charge the year after that despite Florida paying him $1.4 million in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.
If any of this turns out to be wrong, I just give up on this subject at this point.
That's it for now. The Wild has its media draft luncheon this afternoon. I'll blog later if there's news out of that.
I met with Fletcher on Friday, too, so I have a ton of stuff in the can for this week in terms of coverage leading to the draft in South Florida (Friday, Round 1; Saturday, Rounds 2-7).